Money Monster | Movie Review

Jodie Foster is a hero of mine, a flawless talent in the industry who I hold the upmost respect for, Clooney and Roberts hold the same level of respect and O’Connell is one of the best actors of this generation delivering multiple spectacular performances in role after role over the last couple of years. From SKINS to ‘71, STARRED UP and even Jolie’s UNBROKEN. To see these four coming together in a thriller is enough to make me buy advance tickets. Sadly I missed the MONEY MONSTER preview but the most awesome Kernel Blake attended on behalf of Salty, the good news for me is I get to make my ma this weekend for mother/son weekend. MONEY MONSTER is out this Thursday June 2 in Australia from the Sony peeps, it’s rated MA15+ and runs for 98mins. Enjoy Blake’s thoughts on this financial sector fictional slap in the face……..all the best……JK.

 

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BY BLAKE CURRALL

The last few years has seen a glut of films based on the trials and tribulations of the stock market and those responsible for putting the world into a financial crisis. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and THE BIG SHORT had slightly different takes on the same issue, both adding a twist of dark humour to a dire situation. Academy award winning actress & part time director Jodie Foster (THE BEAVER) now throws her hat into the Wall St ring with her latest effort, MONEY MONSTER, a tense thriller with a dark comedic bent.

MONEY MONSTER stars George Clooney (TOMORROWLAND) as Lee Gates, flamboyant host of over the top stock market program called, funnily enough, MONEY MONSTER, a larger than life persona dolling out his big stock tips surrounded by cheerleaders and impromptu dance routines. With ratings on the slide, his personal and professional life waning and the imminent departure of his long suffering producer Patty, played by Julia Roberts (EAT PRAY LOVE), Gates is staring down the barrel of a long midlife crisis.

As taping begins on the latest episode of MONEY MONSTER, a seemingly lost delivery man stumbles onto the set and pulls a gun, sending the studio into panic. Firing off shots and forcing the terrified host to strap on a home-made bomb vest, the crazed man takes control of the show, requesting the cameras keep rolling and his plight goes out on the airwaves. Complying with his demands, Patty and her crew go live with the hostage situation, all while trying to keep the ‘pants-poopingly terrified’ host of the show together, talking to him through his earpiece from the production room.

 

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With Gates regaining his composure, he begins to interview his captor and finds out that the man, clearly at the end of his rope, lost all of his life savings when he bought ‘sure thing’ shares in IBIS Clear Capital, a company that Gates recommended. A company that has subsequently had a software “glitch” and lost over $800 million worth of its shares from the stock market. With the head of the company due to be on the show to explain what happened, the manic man, Kyle, played (as always) brilliantly by British actor Jack O’Connell (STARRED UP), plans to get answers at whatever the cost.

However Kyle’s plans get a spanner in the works when the CEO of IBIS, Walt Camby, the always shady bad guy Dominic West (THE WIRE), fails to turn up and cannot be reached by anyone, let alone the company he works for. Here the tension really builds as Kyle gets even more wound up, but Patty and her crew set to work on finding out what happened at IBIS and where their CEO has vanished to, all while police are surrounding the studio and MONEY MONSTER is still going out live, with ever increasing ratings.

 

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Clooney is great (also as always) in this role, playing the smarmy wanker that realises that if he can keep Kyle calm enough to not shoot him, he’s on to ratings gold and resurgence to his ailing career. With a hilarious failed attempt at negotiations with Kyle and the story of the IBIS stock crash beginning to unravel, Gates decides to go on the front foot and help Kyle out of his predicament, while getting to the bottom of how and why the hard to find CEO managed to let $800 million slip through his fingers.

With the police moving in and news of Camby returning to New York, Kyle and Gates make a break for the open streets to confront the CEO, surrounded by crowds of onlookers who have been glued to their televisions, watching the drama unfold. From here, things start to go a bit awry with the film as Foster, who has directed a taught thriller with moments of genuine humour up until this point, seemingly loses a lot of that steam as MONEY MONSTER ties up the ending a little too quickly and easily with revelations that there is more to the loss of all that money than a simple software glitch.

 

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For the most part, MONEY MONSTER is a solid film, filled with suspense, comedy and great performances from the lead actors. Clooney and Roberts, while sharing most of their screen time communicating via microphone and earpiece share a genuine chemistry and O’Connell is great as the highly strung, down-on-his-luck guy trying to make up for his mistakes, a man desperate to do whatever it takes but not thinking his plan through.

While MONEY MONSTER isn’t as good overall as the other films based on the similar subject matter mentioned earlier, it is a very enjoyable film and another solid directing effort from Foster, proving to have a deft hand at combining different elements into a compelling story and seemingly taking cues from her director of INSIDE MAN, Spike Lee. It also helps that she has top class actors in Clooney, Roberts and O’Connell to add real depth to their characters.

MONEY MONSTER is definitely recommended viewing and another film that will make you hate the big banks, Wall St and those that control the world’s finances.

 

4 Pops

 

 

Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life, like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. Can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.